Who should get what and why? Insights from welfare deservingness theory

Tijs Laenen*, Femke Roosma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific

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This chapter discusses the welfare deservingness model, one of the most influential theoretical frameworks in the welfare attitude literature. This theoretical framework is used to understand the ‘who should get what and why’question that underlies debates about solidarity and social justice in the welfare state. The welfare deservingness model formulates different deservingness criteria (control, attitude, reciprocity, identity and need) on which people ‘score’target groups of welfare provisions (eg, the elderly, the unemployed), resulting in groups being perceived as more or less deserving of support (‘deservingness perceptions’). Moreover, the model acknowledges that people prioritize and weigh these criteria differently (‘deservingness valuations’). We show how contextual and individual circumstances influence deservingness perceptions and valuations in a social policy context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSolidarity and social justice in contemporary societies
Subtitle of host publicationAn interdisciplinary approach to understanding inequalities
EditorsMara A. Yerkes, Michèlle Bal
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-93794-2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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